This traditional Italian Easter Bread is an old family recipe brushed with icing and decorated with sprinkles. These Italian Easter breads are fluffy, slightly sweet, rich and soft.
Every Easter, I say I am going to attempt Easter Bread. Every Easter, I chicken out. Growing up my Great Aunt would make Easter Bread for everyone. I remember going to her house, climbing up her front steps, walking into the kitchen, and seeing all of the Easter Bread on the kitchen table.
My parents attempted Easter Bread a few times but I remember the struggling. Some years it would turn out great. Others, the dough would end up in the trash before it was even baked. You can see why I was hesitant.
But this Easter, I was insistent on making Easter Bread.
Tips for making Italian Easter Bread:
- I went simple with my Italian Easter Bread. If you want to get fancy, you can add dried fruit (raisins are popular) or citrus zest. Me? I think less is more!
- You have to be patient and let this dough rise! If you don’t give it time to do it’s thing, you will be disappointed.
- Don’t worry about those raw eggs though, because the eggs cook as the bread bakes.
More Easter Recipes you might enjoy:
Italian Easter Bread
- 1 1/4 cups milk or half and half
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 to 4 cups flour, approximate
- 6 raw eggs, room temperature, dyed in rainbow colors
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Rainbow nonpariels
- Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat when butter is completely melted.
- Combine the yeast, salt, eggs and sugar in the bowl. Add the warm milk and half of the flour. Knead together until combined. Gradually, add more flour until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough about 3-5 minutes longer, or until completely smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn it over once to coat the top. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for at least an 1 hour. I let mine sit until after dinner (about 3 hours). You want the dough to double in size.
- Gently deflate the dough with your fist. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and pat it down slightly so that it has an even thickness. Cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Roll each piece to form a 1-inch thick rope about 14 inches in length. Take two lengths and twist them together. Loop the twist into a circle and pinch the ends together. Place the circle onto parchment lined baking sheets. Cover the loaves with plastic wrap and let rise again for 1 hour, or until doubled.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Gently place a dyed egg in the middle of each loaf. Your egg will hard-boil while in the oven! Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bread is golden and fragrant.
- Make a glaze with 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Once your loaves are cooled, drizzle on top. Sprinkle nonpariels.